MWC notes as the its media days wrap up Wednesday in Henderson, Nev. ...
After TCU's Gary Patterson, new San Diego State coach Brady Hoke is easily the most outgoing head man in the league. Hoke is one of those call-me-anytime guys. We've already bonded on one subject. Hoke is familiar with the annual San Diego bacchanalian ritual known as Over The Line. For those of you familiar with Indian Ball, it's Indian Ball played on sand.
With beer and bikinis and bands and all kinds of rude stuff.
Hoke hasn't been to OTL yet but something tells me he will.
• Wyoming was picked last in the nine-team Mountain West. First-year coach Dave Christensen knew what he was getting into when he took the job. Wyoming has had one winning season this decade.
"That's where I would have voted us too," Christensen said.
• Where do Sugar Bowl-winning quarterbacks go? In the case of Utah's Brian Johnson it's the United Football League. The UFL is a new pro franchise that debuts in the fall with a handful of franchises. Johnson went undrafted in the NFL but got taken by the UFL New York franchise.
That was after turning down a job offer from Kyle Whittingham.
"I offered him a job as a full-time job coach, but he wanted to try playing," Whittingham said. "Someday I want to get him back on the staff."
• The Utes aren't going to fall off the map without Johnson. Whittingham loves the three candidates lining up to replace Johnson -- junior Corbin Louks, juco transfer Terrance Cain and early enrollee Jordan Wynn.
Louks, who threw seven passes last season, runs a 4.42. Cain came in from Blinn (Texas) College, juco home of former K-State quarterback Michael Bishop. Whittingham says Cain, "reminds me of Alex Smith."
• Utah has the longest active bowl streak having won its last eight in a row.
• Since joining the league in 2005, TCU has the best overall record, 41-11. A case can be made, though, for it being the least accomplished of the big three (including Utah and BYU). Utah has won a Sugar Bowl and has that bowl streak going. BYU has won the league twice in that span and for a time had the nation's longest winning streak. When it trailed TCU in Fort Worth last year it was the first time in two years it trailed at halftime.
• TCU was the first non-BCS school to finish ranked in the top 12 despite two losses.
• TCU was picked to win the league in a preseason media poll. Patterson already is on record as saying he prefers to come from behind. The last time his team was picked to win in the preseason it finished fifth (8-5).
• Only four schools have won conference titles in the 10-year history of the Mountain West -- Utah, TCU, BYU and Colorado State.
• The league has the best winning percentage in bowls the last five years (14-7, .667). The SEC is second (24-13, .643).
• Only five other teams in the country have won more games than Utah (22) and BYU (21) the last two seasons.
• Bronco Mendenhall on christening Jerry Jones' new mega-stadium against Oklahoma. BYU and OU will play in the first college game in the new stadium on Sept. 5.
"Our coaches and players have earned the right to be selected to for the game," BYU's coach said. "I viewed it like a postseason bowl game where they earned their chance because of their body of work. I was willing to trade off possibly an undefeated season ... to continue to improve us over time."
Patterson took it further. His team beat Oklahoma in 2005 and, aside from one bad first quarter, played the Sooners off their feet in 2008. The 35 points allowed in that game were the second-fewest (next to Florida) allowed against OU's offense.
"If you don't play the Oklahomas or the Texases of the world you get a false sense of where you are as a program and how high you can play," he said. "Just playing well doesn't do you any good, if you've got to win those games.
"It has to get to a point where we're recognized enough as a group. Just like Florida loses one game it doesn't make any difference. People talk about Baylor improving, SMU improving. It won't do any of us any good, it doesn't do TCU any good for those programs not to be winning."